In 1994, PHP was born and was the first object-oriented programing to be open-source. An Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming language model in which programs are organized around objects, rather than functions and logic. This means that it’s based on the concept of objects which can contain data. To illustrate, the mission of PHP is to get access to objects contained by servers, then transcribe them on the front side of a defined page, after a request from the client on the website, by clicking on a button for example.

During the last decade, the programing language has seen an important popularity increase and covered around 80% until 2016, but this covering reduced to more than 5% in 2 years. The apparition of Node.js, which is a framework that needs Javascript to be used, can explain this little fall from PHP. Most of the GAFA have now merged to Node.js and have stopped using PHP. Despite this fact, many famous websites are still using PHP, even Facebook, the third most popular website around the world in terms of traffic.
In fact, merging into another programming language is not that easy which is why some websites are still using older versions of PHP for their back-end. To provide you with a better understanding of the structure of a website, a website is divided into the front-end and the back-end. The front-end usually refers to what you see as a website’s visitor while back-end means the server, application and database. Distinct technologies are needed for the front-end and the back-end, a full-stack developer can work on both by knowing many of these distinct technologies. For example, a web developer who knows front-end technologies and PHP, can be considered as a full-stack developer.

If we take a look at the technical aspects of PHP, it may be the most reachable OPP for junior web developers. At the end of this article, we will see why reachable technologies are the most attractive for companies.

Seniors and juniors were not born with the same technologies around them and don’t have the same vision of web development. For many senior developers, PHP is going to die but this conclusion is more subjective than objective. In fact, experienced developers think that PHP didn’t evolve.

It is true that PHP does not have the best history, some of the PHP versions were unstable and inefficient in terms of speed. Moreover, PHP met issues of security, and PHP developers have noted security breaches on their websites. In this situation, a security breach is an unauthorized access of data or services by bypassing their underlying security mechanisms. So, the question is why are developers from companies still using PHP and putting at risk their customer relationship?

1-PHP 7, the biggest step from Zend technologies and not the last

In December 2015, with a new version of the Zend Engine, PHP 7 was launched, which was the last version of PHP. The object-oriented programming is now faster than ever and it is still open source. An evolving technology available for free will keep its popularity and is promised a great future. This new open source version can change the perspectives of most experienced web developers and forced them to think that it’s not a bad idea to use PHP in 2020.

Projects from Zend with PHP are not done yet, reports claim that PHP 8 is confirmed to be in the development process with even better performance and functions, without going into details, PHP is looking to become easier to learn; therefore, more and more reachable.

Meanwhile, the web is still merging to PHP 7, and some companies even judged that it is not necessary for them to merge their website into this new version. For the ones who decided to merge, they have seen an obvious increase in performance of their websites. Websites that merge to the 7’s version of PHP for their back-end, now get an increased performance of 25% – 70%, which is incredible. PHP 6 never really saw life, all the innovations that came from this project were added to PHP 7’s project, that is why we can say that PHP 7 represents the work of two distinct projects. If around 80% of the web is covered by PHP, almost 8/10 of websites can see their performance rocketing thanks to the new version of the OPP. The launch of a stable version from Zend technologies is for sure reassuring companies about the future of PHP.

2-HipHop for PHP, the involvement of Facebook with an alternative solution

Since 2008, compilers were developed to transform PHP into C++, which is used to offer greater performance for apps.

The first compiler was launched in 2010 and Facebook was already developing its own compiler, known today as HPVM.

HPVM was originally developed to diminish the charge of the servers. HipHop for PHP was launched with 300 000 lines of code in C++ and C, as an open-source and under PHP’s license.
Facebook has the third worldwide most important traffic and was built with PHP. For Facebook’s management, adding servers was not the only solution to manage their traffic; rather, developing an efficient compiler was for them the brightest solution to manage more traffic in the future.

In 2020, Facebook’s servers will concentrate an infinite number of objects and maintain increasing performance by using PHP. With their effort, Facebook is really teaching with PHP a lesson to the other companies.

3-Wordpress is getting more popular

Wordpress is the most famous CMS and covers 30% of the web. A CMS offers the chance to create a website without coding, or partially, but this does not mean that a website can be created without lines of codes. If the lines of code for a website powered by WordPress are already made, then the user has to just define the structure and put the content to make a website. Meanwhile, if there is a website and there are lines of codes, WordPress uses PHP for the back-end part of their powered platforms. There are more and more WordPress users, so PHP is for sure not going to die in the next years.

4-The lack of web developers on the job market and the need of entry

Many companies face issues because of the lack of web developers on the job market, this lack forces them to review their scale of competences then to think less about recruiting experienced web developers and more about using reachable technologies. Junior web developers have great opportunities to find jobs and have more chance than ever to be employed. Being a web developer could be a bright idea for a reconversion. To learn programming, a lot of popular boot camps are offered on the web but none of them includes PHP in its program. Forming people with a great known of PHP can respond to these employment issues that face companies because it is easy to learn.

Conclusion :

To resume, PHP is now faster than ever with a new stable version and great performances. Big companies can still use PHP and Facebook has showed the way with an alternative solution by developing HipHop for PHP. WordPress covers a large part of the web and will not stop to use PHP for their platform. With a lack of web developers on the job market, companies change their minds about new technologies. There is a real need of web developers, so it is important to have new ones formed in a short time and PHP is seen as the easiest object-oriented programing to learn. PHP will evolve and will stay attractive for companies.

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